Ask a Tanning Salon Business Consultant: End Employee Panhandling!

by | Ask a Tanning Salon Business Consultant

Q: “We recently fired an employee who was asking tanners for money… and some of them gave it to her! Then they stopped coming in to tan because they knew she would be there, asking them for money. I lost business for three months because of this and I’m beyond furious! Is that a form of theft? Could this be considered loss of business due to an employee? Or am I just out of luck?”

As a tanning salon owner, you want your employees taking your customers’ money… for session, upgrade, membership, and product sales. You don’t want your staff taking handouts for their favorite charity – themselves – when they’re on your clock. Unfortunately, it looks like this member of your team did the latter.

Why some people believe the tanning salon is the place for their personal agenda escapes my logic. Unfortunately, it does happen. I’ve seen everything from someone selling Mary Kay to an employee who asks for handouts. My old fart generation grew up with the work ethic that your employer’s business was there to make money… for the employer! This generation seems to have other priorities.

Every year I hear these tales of salon staff soliciting customers. The results are always the same – tanning salon product sales go down and customer dissatisfaction goes up. So what do you do if you have an employee who is out for her own goals? The answer is simple – bring the proof to them. Document what she has done. This means video, customer comments, peer concerns, and personal observations.

First, present the facts to your panhandling employee. Then, you must demand that he or she immediately cease and desist with this behavior. Make it clear that this is a final warning. Do not mince words about the gravity of the situation. Then be assertive in your follow up. If she does it again, she’s gone. It’s really that simple.

Eight More Tips for Tanning Salon Owners…

Having panhandling employees is bad enough to be a firing offense. That said, there are things that tanning salon owners can do to decrease a staff member’s need to beg for money. This helps increase the profits at your salon. Here are my eight human resources management tips for increased profits for everyone at your store:

  1. Pay employees above minimum wage. This attracts a higher level of salon staff and helps you keep those employees that you want to keep.
  2. Pay commissions on every tanning lotion, upgrade session, and EFT membership your employees sell. This will motivate them to do sell some more.
    Improve your motivational skills. If you want to keep good employees, these skills can go a long way. Reinforce your staff’s efforts and achievements.
  3. Be the approachable boss. Remove the walls that keep your staff from sharing, learning, and being honest.
  4. Allow your staff to make mistakes. Everyone can learn more from their mistakes and failures than from successes. All this leads to initiative, learning, and avoidance of similar mistakes in the future.
  5. Encourage your team to be creative. Don’t stomp on their ideas to better serve your tanners. That’s the easiest way to kill morale.
  6. Encourage communication so your staff feels engaged with your business and goals. This makes them want to do their best.
  7. Be consistent. Treat everyone equally and you will earn their respect, trust, and admiration.

It was a pleasure answering your question. I hope all this helps you sort out this issue. If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to ask this tanning salon business consultant.

Ask a Tanning Salon Business Consultant: End Employee Panhandling!

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